Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE INSIDE TRACK | PAGE TWO

Sailer Really Should Know Not to Play With Anchors

October 21, 1998|RANDY HARVEY

UCLA kicker Chris Sailer had been sitting on the sideline watching his teammates practice for two hours when Channel 13 sports anchor Kenny Sargent challenged him to a duel--field goals at 25 yards. Sailer knows now that he should have made no time for Sargent.

Instead, Sailer, without warming up first, accepted.

"It's not the smartest thing I've ever done," Sailer said Tuesday.

At least he didn't lose to Sargent, a former Sam Houston State soccer player. But Sailer did tweak a groin muscle, an injury that a little more than two weeks later would almost cost the Bruins a game against Oregon, the Pacific 10 Conference lead and possibly a national championship.

That's because Sailer missed a 21-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds of the fourth quarter Saturday that would have won the game in regulation.

Fortunately for him and the Bruins, he redeemed himself on the first possession of overtime with a 24-yard field goal that finally vanquished the Ducks, 41-38, and enabled UCLA to remain No. 2 in both polls.

Sailer, an All-American last season as a kicker and punter, called his miss at the end of regulation "a fluke." But he also had a 42-yard attempt blocked and admitted that both failures could have resulted from poor timing. He hasn't kicked during practices since the injury.

And although he has reached the end zone on 27 of 39 kickoffs and has a punting average of 42.2 yards, only marginally lower than he has averaged in his career, he said he knows his distance also has suffered.

Before the injury, he said he wouldn't hesitate before telling Coach Bob Toledo to send him out for any field-goal situation within 60 yards. Sailer said his confidence level now is about 10 yards short of that.

"Last week was as bad as it's felt, but I've been working on strengthening it," he said. "By the time we get to some of those games at the end of the season, it should be 100%. But I've got to make it through until then. When you're playing for a national championship, all of the games are big."

Except for one against a sportscaster.

*

UCLA is No. 1. . . .

For the first time this season, one of the key components in determining the bowl championship series rankings has the Bruins first. . . .

The Seattle Times computer has them ahead of No. 2 Tennessee, No. 3 Kansas State and No. 4 Ohio State. . . .

Ohio State, No. 1 in the writers' and coaches' polls, is the first choice of only one of the three computers factored into the BCS equation, the one belonging to the New York Times. . . .

The other, the Sagarin Ratings, has Kansas State first. . . .

To be entirely accurate in assessing the new system, one of the letters should be dropped from BCS. . . .

Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr expected great things from Justin Fargas, his freshman running back from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, but he didn't necessarily expect them on a sloppy track. . . .

Where did Fargas learn to run in a downpour like the one during Michigan's 12-6 victory Saturday at Northwestern? . . .

For his 31-carry, 120-yard performance, he has been named the Wolverines' starting tailback. . . .

I don't know why it's so difficult to coach the Ducks, who play their home opener tonight against Boston. . . .

All you have to do is tell Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne to score. . . .

When they both score, the Ducks' record is 22-4-5. . . .

After losing No. 1 goalie Stephane Fiset to an injury during Sunday night's game against the Avalanche, what would the Kings have done if No. 2 goalie Jamie Storr, also injured, hadn't been able to finish the game? . . .

They probably would have turned to Steve McKenna. He has never played in goal before, but, at 6 feet 8, 247 pounds, he has the best chance of getting his body in front of a puck. . . .

A Columbus-Chicago game is not exactly what Major League Soccer had in mind when it awarded its championship game to the Rose Bowl. . . .

If MLS thought it had a problem creating interest after the Galaxy lost in the semifinals, watch what happens if Columbus wins tonight against the league's other glamour team, two-time champion D.C. United.

*

While wondering if the IRS knows Mike Tyson is in no rush to fight before the end of the year, I was thinking: Las Vegas isn't the best place for NBA players to meet if they're trying to save money, give me an NFL team and I'd want Bill Parcells to coach it, you're a better sports fan than most if you know which sport Stern John plays.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|